Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 333318 times)

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3330 on: March 13, 2021, 10:19:41 AM »
Might I therefore suggest a separate thread or threads regarding:
--The Biggest Moral Problems Facing the Church Today
--The Church's View of the Role of Government
--Social Gospel and Theology

I know some of these topics have been tackled in other threads over the years, but perhaps if they are important enough to debate we could devote a separate thread to them. 

Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Rob Morris

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3331 on: March 13, 2021, 10:23:31 AM »
Pastor Hannah is 100% correct as I understand the new rules. These debates, frequently involving Pastors Austin and Speckhard, often become purely political with no direct theological content whatsoever. If that’s what the board wants to be, that’s totally fine. I won’t participate, but no skin off my nose.

I had thought there was a dedicated commitment to keep the 100% politics 0% theology discussions out. I, for one, applauded that.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3332 on: March 13, 2021, 10:37:29 AM »
I would contend, John, that these days’ discussions of “politics“, that is, how the nation spends its money, has a great deal to do with morality and compassion and care for our neighbor. It also has much to do with our view of government. Someone here thinks our government is simply “the ruling class.“ That is, a warped view of government today. Now if one wanted to apply that term to huge corporations and the big money power in the world…
I will say it again. I believe the biggest moral problems today have to do with our civic, communal life. Racism. Sexism. How we allot our resources. The protection of our natural resources. The protection of our democracy and the founding principles of our country.
These ought to be much bigger concerns for our churches than who communes at what altars or whether today’s Presbyterians are 16th century Calvinist.
Perhaps the problem is that we face these issues most directly in our nearby, local communities. (all politics is local.) that makes some issues were important than others, depending on where you live and who lives near you. On the other hand, we do not live totally in our local communities. We are a nation; and we are a nation that is part of a worldwide community of nations. Local politics, and “local“ theology have global implications.
Charles, you suggest quite a laundry list of issues and moral problems that you think should concern us a religious people, and as church people and occupy the attention of our churches more concern than theological controversies. Maybe so, I'm not interested in arguing that with you. But there are some other moral concerns that you have not mentioned that I believe should be added to that list.


Protection for the most vulnerable and least among us, the unborn, whose concerns and very lives have become far too often dismissed and themselves discarded as medical trash or harvested for profit. I find it concerning that while the number of abortions obtained by white women each year has been going down, those for ethnic minorities have been increasing so that in 2017 the number of abortions obtained by Black women exceeded that of white women, even though white women are a greater percentage of the population than Blacks. The abortion percentage (abortions as a fraction of total live births and abortions) for Blacks in 2017 was just under 35%, for whites about 12%. I do not claim to know what this means but this disparity should be concerning.


Families continue to be one of the basic foundational components of our society. Families are still the primary agency for raising children. The family as an institution has increasingly been under stress and even under attack by some who rail against the "nuclear family." Concern and support needs to be expressed for families, especially in their crucial role in being foundational to the development of the next generation.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Steven W Bohler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3333 on: March 13, 2021, 11:03:14 AM »
I would contend, John, that these days’ discussions of “politics“, that is, how the nation spends its money, has a great deal to do with morality and compassion and care for our neighbor. It also has much to do with our view of government. Someone here thinks our government is simply “the ruling class.“ That is, a warped view of government today. Now if one wanted to apply that term to huge corporations and the big money power in the world…
I will say it again. I believe the biggest moral problems today have to do with our civic, communal life. Racism. Sexism. How we allot our resources. The protection of our natural resources. The protection of our democracy and the founding principles of our country.
These ought to be much bigger concerns for our churches than who communes at what altars or whether today’s Presbyterians are 16th century Calvinist.
Perhaps the problem is that we face these issues most directly in our nearby, local communities. (all politics is local.) that makes some issues were important than others, depending on where you live and who lives near you. On the other hand, we do not live totally in our local communities. We are a nation; and we are a nation that is part of a worldwide community of nations. Local politics, and “local“ theology have global implications.

It is highly revealing that your list of what OUGHT to concern churches is basically the Democrat laundry-list.  And that you explicitly exclude communion practices from the list. 

Jeremy_Loesch

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3334 on: March 13, 2021, 11:08:01 AM »
I would contend, John, that these days’ discussions of “politics“, that is, how the nation spends its money, has a great deal to do with morality and compassion and care for our neighbor. It also has much to do with our view of government. Someone here thinks our government is simply “the ruling class.“ That is, a warped view of government today. Now if one wanted to apply that term to huge corporations and the big money power in the world…
I will say it again. I believe the biggest moral problems today have to do with our civic, communal life. Racism. Sexism. How we allot our resources. The protection of our natural resources. The protection of our democracy and the founding principles of our country.
These ought to be much bigger concerns for our churches than who communes at what altars or whether today’s Presbyterians are 16th century Calvinist.
Perhaps the problem is that we face these issues most directly in our nearby, local communities. (all politics is local.) that makes some issues were important than others, depending on where you live and who lives near you. On the other hand, we do not live totally in our local communities. We are a nation; and we are a nation that is part of a worldwide community of nations. Local politics, and “local“ theology have global implications.

It's okay if you want to use my name. It's Jeremy, which is not a pseudonym.  I don't use an alias, have nothing to hide. You and I were neighbors for a while on the eastern seaboard and now we aren't that far apart in the midwest.

And if you think my view of government is warped, it's no more or no less warped than the view of many other people who seek statism, anarchy, monarchy, etc.

We have allowed our government to become a ruling class, dictating what is moral, what is allowable, what wars are just or unjust. We've allowed that to happen. I do believe in the power of the ballot box to serve as a built-in term limit, but my belief is a little wobbly. Term limits seem like an okay corrective to "public servants" who come not to serve, but to be served. It's not good that Pres. Biden and Sen. McConnell have been in the senate for decades. Congress has done nothing to address the moral crises facing our country: abortion, fatherless families, poverty, education.

So again, feel free to use my name. It's no bother to say, "Jeremy Loesch believes our government has become the ruling class." It's an accurate statement and it's my view of government right now. I used to not think that way, but I also believe in evolution. My thoughts have evolved. As a teenager, abortion was strictly a women's issue and I guess was okay. I also used to believe that there should be equality in the workplace so the door to the pastoral office should be open to women. I've evolved in both of those issues, though probably not the way I am supposed to.

Jeremy David Otto Loesch

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3335 on: March 13, 2021, 11:11:44 AM »
Pastor Hannah is 100% correct as I understand the new rules. These debates, frequently involving Pastors Austin and Speckhard, often become purely political with no direct theological content whatsoever. If that’s what the board wants to be, that’s totally fine. I won’t participate, but no skin off my nose.

I had thought there was a dedicated commitment to keep the 100% politics 0% theology discussions out. I, for one, applauded that.
Might I therefore suggest a separate thread or threads regarding:
--The Biggest Moral Problems Facing the Church Today
--The Church's View of the Role of Government
--Social Gospel and Theology

I know some of these topics have been tackled in other threads over the years, but perhaps if they are important enough to debate we could devote a separate thread to them.

Thank you, Don and Rob. It is legitimate under the current Forum Online rules to deal with the questions Don suggests. Until Charles introduced morality we were discussing only the economic and tax principles of the Republican or Democratic parties. They are important and interesting points but not for here.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3336 on: March 13, 2021, 11:31:31 AM »
Pastor Hannah is 100% correct as I understand the new rules. These debates, frequently involving Pastors Austin and Speckhard, often become purely political with no direct theological content whatsoever. If that’s what the board wants to be, that’s totally fine. I won’t participate, but no skin off my nose.

I had thought there was a dedicated commitment to keep the 100% politics 0% theology discussions out. I, for one, applauded that.
Might I therefore suggest a separate thread or threads regarding:
--The Biggest Moral Problems Facing the Church Today
--The Church's View of the Role of Government
--Social Gospel and Theology

I know some of these topics have been tackled in other threads over the years, but perhaps if they are important enough to debate we could devote a separate thread to them.

Thank you, Don and Rob. It is legitimate under the current Forum Online rules to deal with the questions Don suggests. Until Charles introduced morality we were discussing only the economic and tax principles of the Republican or Democratic parties. They are important and interesting points but not for here.

Peace, JOHN

You really think that Rev. Austin is the one who tried to bring this thread back to the Church?  By listing Democratic platform points and then inserting the word "moral" after it?  Wow.

Pastor Ken Kimball

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3337 on: March 13, 2021, 11:42:40 AM »
While I have degrees of difference with some of the particulars of Pastor Austin's list of items that ought to be addressed (and even more differences with how they ought to be addressed along with items that I would add in agreement with Pastor Fienen) in the public square, I am in agreement with him on his main point that matters of political and governmental policies and actions are indeed matters that fall within the purview of faith, theology, and morality/ethics, and  therefore are valid matters that relate to the life of the church and Christians, even Lutheran Christians. With Pastor Speckhard and Pastor Loesch and possibly Pastor Austin, I agree that analysis and discussion of governmental actions including the recent 1.9 trillion dollar Covid relief bill falls within such purview--and I welcome and gain from the exchange between Pastor Austin and Pastor Speckhard (though I freely admit my own position aligns far more with that of Pastor Speckhard).  What provoked my response some posts back to Pastor Benke was his invoking of the "aims of the alpb forum online" to invalidate Pastor Speckhard's response.  I have high regard for Pastor Benke and Pastor Hannah (and others I've already mentioned), but in both Pastor Benke's and Pastor Hannah's posts, I hear the faint echo or see the faint parallel to woke cancel culture to silence or remove political analysis founded in particular theological convictions.  I readily confess that I may be over-sensitive in this regard.   

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3338 on: March 13, 2021, 12:46:25 PM »
Pastor Bohler writes (re my comment upstream):
It is highly revealing that your list of what OUGHT to concern churches is basically the Democrat laundry-list.
I comment:
How very amusing. So you intend to say that Republicans and others have no concern for racism, sexism, immigration, the environment, protection of our democracy, our role in the world? Really! Then what, in the name of Aunt Gertie's goat, have we been arguing about for the past five or six years?
Your guy (until Jan 20) was elected on key issues concerning immigration and racism. Your people today are HOWLing about the rescue package. The administration you supported went dog-with-a-bone chew-crazy over environmental regulations. My concerns are the "Democrat laundry list"? Really?
These are theological/moral issues because the involve how we care for our neighbor and how we exercise our stewardship of God's wonderful creation.

Pastor Bohler writes:
And that you explicitly exclude communion practices from the list.
I comment:
No one is going to get sick and die, no ability of the land to produce food will be diminished, no people seeking refuge from oppression and death will be turned away from safety, no African-American being beaten by police is going to be better off if we futz and fume and fiddle with regulations about who can commune and where and when.
And if we and our churches are silent when we do things that make people sicker and quicken their deaths, when we despoil the land, when we turn aside refugees and malign immigrants seeking the blessings of our land, what do you think people outside our tiny little buildings will think of the Church? How do you think God will see how we are practicing that commandment about service to "the least of these"?
P.S. to Pastor Fienen: Yes the list should also contain concern for the health of women and the birthing of babies. Add to that concern about health care for all people.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 12:48:16 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Article coming up in Lutheran Forum journal. Now would be a good time to subscribe.
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John_Hannah

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3339 on: March 13, 2021, 12:57:20 PM »

I have high regard for Pastor Benke and Pastor Hannah (and others I've already mentioned), but in both Pastor Benke's and Pastor Hannah's posts, I hear the faint echo or see the faint parallel to woke cancel culture to silence or remove political analysis founded in particular theological convictions.  I readily confess that I may be over-sensitive in this regard.   


Thank, you Ken. I was looking for any articulation of theological convictions and didn't see any from either side of the issue. My apologies if I missed any.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3340 on: March 13, 2021, 01:11:42 PM »

I have high regard for Pastor Benke and Pastor Hannah (and others I've already mentioned), but in both Pastor Benke's and Pastor Hannah's posts, I hear the faint echo or see the faint parallel to woke cancel culture to silence or remove political analysis founded in particular theological convictions.  I readily confess that I may be over-sensitive in this regard.   


Thank, you Ken. I was looking for any articulation of theological convictions and didn't see any from either side of the issue. My apologies if I missed any.

Peace, JOHN

I agree with John here, Ken.  In terms of intersectionality, the issue of let's say racially disparaging language often jumps into the theological/religious arena, because the one using the offensive language will disagree with the verdict that she or he is racist.  That happened last night at a high school girls hoops game in Oklahoma, where the announcer, not knowing the mic was live, watched the girls (who had done this at all their games) take a knee during the national anthem and came out with "those f....n.... girls" twice.  The announcer's apology, while it brought with it the excuse of low blood sugar, also stated that he was not a racist, and was an active member of his Baptist church and had served as the youth director. 

That hit home to me.  What do you do with that?  It's no longer simply a social issue, but a religious one.  I would be willing to guess that most of the girls taking a knee are also Baptists (because it's Oklahoma).  It would actually be a teachable moment among local Baptists and could lead to a NON-canceling item we would call "reconciliation," or taking it to the cross.  That to me is where the wisdom of the foolishness of the cross belongs in these days and times, right at those intersections. 

Dave Benke

Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3341 on: March 13, 2021, 01:42:57 PM »
I could be snide and observe that by making his list of things that churches and church people ought to be concerned about and explicitly removing from that list things that concern certain doctrines or church practices, that Pr. Austin would make of the church primarily a social action or political action organization with things like preaching the Gospel or correctly teaching about God as a secondary activity and concern of relative unimportance.


Despite what he wrote, I don't really think that is what Pr. Austin has in mind, although I strongly suspect that the importance that he and I would give to some teachings of the church would be quite different. Not to mention what he and I would actually teach and preach about these points would be quite different.


As I read the Bible, I perceive a strong thread of concern for orthodoxy and orthopraxy, correct teaching and correct practice. God cares about what we believe, teach, and confess, and about how we conduct ourselves. Another strong thread of Biblical concern is for the wellbeing of the neighbor, including his physical wellbeing. As I read it, neither is optional, both important.


Obviously, even though both Charles and I would agree that a correct preaching of the Gospel, correct ethical behavior in accordance to God's will, and care for the spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing of the neighbor are important and none of them should be neglected, we still disagree on many points. I find it helpful to examine the nature of our disagreements.


Obviously, we at times disagree on the Content of our preaching, what our ethical rules should be, and what are the best ways to help our neighbor. In general, people see what they believe and the programs and remedies that they propose and practice as the correct ones. If you don't support this way of caring for expectant mothers, that includes universal health care, paid maternal and paternal leave, and readily available abortion and contraceptive services, etc. then you don't really care about  women's health. Or, if you don't oppose abortion except in the most exceptional cases, you don't really care about babies. Similarly for care for the poor or the oppressed. You can't really be caring about these people unless you would care for them in the way that I want to. If we are to have productive discussions we need to get beyond such simplistic analysis and realize that someone may care as much as I do about a topic but still disagree with me in what should be done about it.


But we also disagree on the Importance of things and the priority that we would put on things. Sometimes a different in importance arises more out of a disagreement on Content. For example, I have come to suspect from a number of things that Pr. Austin has written that the question of who should commune at our altars is actually as important question for him as it is for me. He is at least a vehement in his insistence that all baptized should be communed as I am in that there need to be further restrictions than simply being baptized.


Far too often it seems to me that we mistake disagreements over content to be disagreements over importance. We do not support particular programs or policies to address certain concern so therefor we don't care about them. But if we are to productively discuss, whether on this forum or in the public policy debates in our nation, we need to recognize that sometimes we disagree over how important an issue is, but sometimes we just disagree over what the proper teaching or action should be.


Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3342 on: March 13, 2021, 03:27:28 PM »

I have high regard for Pastor Benke and Pastor Hannah (and others I've already mentioned), but in both Pastor Benke's and Pastor Hannah's posts, I hear the faint echo or see the faint parallel to woke cancel culture to silence or remove political analysis founded in particular theological convictions.  I readily confess that I may be over-sensitive in this regard.   


Thank, you Ken. I was looking for any articulation of theological convictions and didn't see any from either side of the issue. My apologies if I missed any.

Peace, JOHN

I agree with John here, Ken.  In terms of intersectionality, the issue of let's say racially disparaging language often jumps into the theological/religious arena, because the one using the offensive language will disagree with the verdict that she or he is racist.  That happened last night at a high school girls hoops game in Oklahoma, where the announcer, not knowing the mic was live, watched the girls (who had done this at all their games) take a knee during the national anthem and came out with "those f....n.... girls" twice.  The announcer's apology, while it brought with it the excuse of low blood sugar, also stated that he was not a racist, and was an active member of his Baptist church and had served as the youth director. 

That hit home to me.  What do you do with that?  It's no longer simply a social issue, but a religious one.  I would be willing to guess that most of the girls taking a knee are also Baptists (because it's Oklahoma).  It would actually be a teachable moment among local Baptists and could lead to a NON-canceling item we would call "reconciliation," or taking it to the cross.  That to me is where the wisdom of the foolishness of the cross belongs in these days and times, right at those intersections. 

Dave Benke
If a racial slur at a girls' high school basketball game in Oklahoma is instant news in New York, the real news, and the really good news, is that people have to hunt far and wide for examples.

A healthy way of approaching the world that would tend toward healing and reconciliation would be to have a policy that if some event or comment can reasonably be interpreted as not having resulted from racism, then that is the best interpretation. The danger is that such a policy might let a closet racist off the hook. So the actual policy in play, one that doesn't lead to healing and reconciliation, is to say that if it could possibly be interpreted as having resulted from racism, then racism is the preferred explanation. The danger of that policy is that you might end up accusing someone of doing something racist that wasn't racist at all. That, to the woke, is no real danger, just the collateral damage of the revolution. Objecting to being falsely accused of racism is itself racism at work or just white fragility.

In this forum many years ago I objected to a suggestively pornographic Super Bowl halftime show by Miley Cyrus, whom my girls loved as Hannah Montana when they were very little. Several years later there was another halftime show that similarly featured a lot of suggestively pornographic crotch-fingering and what-not. I again expressed my objections in this forum. The problem was that this time the dancer in question was Latina. Obviously, demonstrably, and unarguably, I was saying the same thing I would have said regardless of the race of the dancer. But suddenly my objections to non-family-friendly halftime viewing aroused suspicion that I was racist against Hispanics. The habit of mind that prefers to see racism where there isn't any rather than risk missing any racism where it might be hidden is a sickness. It is destructive. It prevents healing. Yet it is constantly promoted and tolerated even by some Christians. 

As a theological and political conservative, I know when I interact in this forum that there are people, within the LCMS and outside of it, whom I could not count on to defend me in my absence against an accusation of racism. That's not because they don't understand the 8th. It is because they can't quite shake critical race theory from their heads. My conservatism is no secret, and many people think racism is the driving force behind conservatism. My anti-racist credentials are weak, at least as understood by leading activists; that must mean there's a good chance I'm a racist. Sad way to think.     
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 05:13:52 PM by peter_speckhard »

Richard Johnson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3343 on: March 13, 2021, 05:35:13 PM »
Suppose we go back to talking about coronavirus on this thread?
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3344 on: March 13, 2021, 05:44:32 PM »
Suppose we go back to talking about coronavirus on this thread?


Maybe a vaccine has injected the thread and the coronavirus is disappearing.
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